Jobs: Would you employee an ex-offender?
- Credit: Archant
Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner is calling on the business community to play its part in keeping the county safe – by breaking down barriers to employment for ex-offenders.
PCC Stephen Bett is asking 100 organisations to pledge to offer a new opportunity to someone with a criminal conviction, with the aim of getting those individuals into long-term employment.
'Repeat offenders are responsible for a significant amount of the crime we have in Norfolk,' Mr Bett said. 'We know that having a job can reduce the likelihood someone will go on to re-offend. But, for many, the difficulty they face in finding employment can be a huge barrier to leaving their offending past behind them.'
Mr Bett said participating organisations would:
•Benefit from access to a pool of dedicated, trained and reliable workers.
•Improve competitiveness by filling skills gaps.
•Help to reduce the economic cost of crime.
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•Help people to live fulfilling lives.
The PCC brought 50 business representatives from all over Norfolk together at The Great Hospital in Norwich in December to enlist their support for the Gateway to Employment campaign, launched in partnership with the Department of Work and Pensions.
Mr Bett said: '75pc of employers will use the declaration of a criminal record to discriminate against a job applicant. Yet many of them have a skills shortage and would benefit from an increased pool of suitable candidates from which to recruit.
'There are 10 million people in the UK with a criminal record. Many of these people could be dedicated, trained and reliable workers.'
'We are asking our business community to show their support for Gateway to Employment by pledging to offer a new opportunity to someone with a criminal conviction. That could be an apprenticeship or work experience, or training, mentoring or job opportunity.'
•For hundreds of job vacancies visit Jobs24.co.uk
•Visit www.gtoe.co.uk for more information